It's no secret that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had trouble delivering captivating villains to its audience on the big screen (television, on the other hand, has done remarkably well), but occasionally the franchise delivers a few winners. For instance, the Red Skull. He may not be at Loki's level, but it was entertaining to watch him lead HYDRA and act as Steve Rogers' scarlet visaged foil in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger. Since that movie's release, many fans have debated about whether we'll see Red Skull return to the MCU. While Hugo Weaving recently looked back fondly at his time as Johann Schmidt, he hasn't heard anything about Marvel wanting him to reprise the villain. If it were up to us, though, we would bring him back to this world for another round, specifically in Avengers: Infinity War.
Let's look at where we left off with the Red Skull at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger. He was fighting Steve Rogers aboard his aircraft carrying several nukes, and during their scuffle, the Tesseract was freed from its containment device. Not thinking, the HYDRA head grabbed the cube himself, which resulted in him being disintegrated and launched through a strong portal out into the cosmos. It looked like a straightforward death at first, right? Maybe, but let's also not forget that one of the common superhero story tropes in the comics is that death is rarely permanent. Granted, these live action franchises can't fall back on that trope nearly as often, but Red Skull can be one of the exceptions.
It isn't like the Red Skull was shot in the head or caught in a gigantic explosion. The Tesseract broke down his body, and while many automatically assumed that he died, it's possible that he was actually transported to another area of the universe. Of course, that did happen over 70 years ago with the MCU's timeline, so how is he still alive? Well, maybe he didn't come out the other end as a human, and he's been trapped in this energy form for decades. Somehow when Thanos gets ahold of the Tesseract, a.k.a. the Space Stone, in Avengers: Infinity War, maybe he's able to trigger (whether it's deliberate or unintentional) Red Skull returning to normal and finally being transported to Earth all these years later.
On the other hand, let's assume that touching the Tesseract did kill the Red Skull. That doesn't mean he can't be brought back. There's still a lot we don't know about the Infinity Stones in the MCU, but if the Soul Stone is anything like its comic book counterpart, then it's capable of manipulating both living and dead souls. Perhaps this could be expanded to resurrecting the dead. Thanos is mighty, there's no doubt about that, but right now (as far as we know), he lacks an army. It was reported last year that there will be other villains in Infinity War besides the Mad Titan, so why not bring back a few deceased Marvel bad guys, Red Skull included? That would be a great way to screw around with the heroes' heads.
Whether Red Skull is reformed by the Tesseract or is brought back from the dead, it would be a waste not to bring the antagonist back in Avengers: Infinity War and remind moviegoers how formidable he is. It made sense why he wasn't included in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, but he's also one of the most evil figures the Marvel universe has ever known. If any long-gone MCU villain deserves another chance to shine, it's him. It doesn't even have to be Hugo Weaving reprising him, although that would be the preferable option. Red Skull has changed bodies enough times in the comics that the MCU could get away with casting another actor, as long as he can pull off the villain's sinister personality and scarlet visage.
Would you like to see Red Skull return for Avengers: Infinity War? If so, how specifically should he be involved? Let us know in the comments below.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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